Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens New Exhibition: Cross Pollination

  • by Charles Wagoner
  • October 27, 2020

The newest exhibition at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Cross Pollination: Heade, Cole, Church and Our Contemporary Moment, will open on October 28, 2020. The exhibition will be on view to the public through January 17, 2021.

Cross Pollination takes flight from the influential series of paintings, The Gems of Brazil (1863-64) by Martin Johnson Heade, and expands outward to explore pollination in nature and ecology, as well as pollination as a metaphor for the interplay between art and science, relationships among artists and the connections across time, from the 19th to the 21st centuries. 

The exhibition was developed collaboratively by the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, The Olana Partnership at the Olana State Historic Site and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and draws from core work in each of their collections.

Sixteen of Heade’s paintings from The Gems of Brazil currently in the collection of Crystal Bridges are presented in conversation not only with works by fellow artists Thomas Cole and Frederic Church, but also with artwork by their daughters, Emily Cole and Isabel Charlotte Church, and major artists working today. 

This exhibition celebrates the beauty of the natural world — a theme that aligns with many of the works within the Museum’s permanent collection, as well as its historically significant riverfront gardens. 

“Artists across history have explored the lessons that nature can teach us about our own lives. This exhibition presents visually stunning and thought-provoking artworks that invite us all to consider the interconnectedness of our own experiences and actions,” said Holly Keris, the Museum’s J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Chief Curator. “Cross Pollination is an exquisite complement to our permanent collection and gardens, providing a new lens through which to view these incredible assets that have been available to the community for nearly 60 years. Additionally, our proximity to St. Augustine, where featured artist Martin Johnson Heade spent his final years, enhances the geographic significance.”

This exhibition is a collaboration between Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Thomas Cole National Historical Site and the Olana Partnership at Olana State Historic Site. The exhibition tour is organized by Crystal Bridges. Support for this exhibition and its national tour is provided by Art Bridges. Additional major support has been provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.

Membership provides many benefits, including exclusive openings and tours. The Museum will host a virtual exhibition opening celebration for members on October 29, 2020.

The Cummer Museum’s Concourse Art Shop — a space that spotlights artists from our community — welcomes artists Dustin Harewood, Crystal Floyd and Lili Yuan. Together, these artists’ work presents three distinct cultural backgrounds and three studio practices. Like the artists in Cross Pollination, their work celebrates the interconnectivity between art, science and nature. All share a reverence and concern for nature and a great interest in its mystery and magic.

Advance registration is required for all Museum events. Capacity for on-site events will be limited to ensure a safe and fun experience. For additional event details and register to participate, visit

Virtual Conversation with the Artists: Dustin Harewood, Crystal Floyd and Lili Yuan

Oct. 23, 2020 | 7 to 8 p.m. | Free
Tune in and enjoy a panel discussion with the participating artists featured in the Museum’s Concourse Art Shop: Dustin Harewood, Crystal Floyd and Lili Yuan. Get a behind-the-scenes look into each artist’s studio, hear about their creative processes and learn how they incorporate the environment into their art.

Foraging Workshop with Marian Salvat of Cultivate Jax

Nov. 14, 2020 | 2 to 3:30 p.m. | $30 for members, $40 for non-members
Learn about making the most efficient use of your North Florida backyard with a foraging workshop led by Mariah Salvat of Cultivate Jacksonville and Southern Roots. This program will be held on-site at the Museum.

Spark Your Senses

Nov. 18, 2020 | 6 to 8 p.m. | $75 for members, $100 for non-members
During this four-part, multi-sensory experience, attendees will learn about foraging in Northeast Florida, make a mini terrarium in an upcycled glass jar with concourse artist Crystal Floyd, taste a selection of honey to create a tasty cocktail with Jacksonville’s own Bee Friends Farm and experience the exhibition with a docent-led tour of Cross Pollination.  

Virtual Lecture with Jim Draper | Radical Naturalism: Bringing Heade’s Environmental Realism into the 21st Century

Dec. 1, 2020 | 7 to 8 p.m. | Free
Artist and professor Jim Draper will speak from his studio on environmental art from the past and new ideas and concepts of documenting the current ecological landscapes of the world.


Philanthropic support from the community is critical for the Museum to serve as a vibrant civic resource. Support for Cross Pollination has been generously provided by:

Exhibition Season Presenters:

Lory C. Doolittle 

Florida Blue

Exhibition Lead Sponsors:

Ameris Bank

Art Bridges 

Exhibition Sponsors:

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations

City of Jacksonville

Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville

Director’s Circle Donors at the Cummer Museum

State of Florida

Ryan Schwartz

The Robert D. and Isabelle T. Davis Endowment

The Schultz Family Endowment

The Winston Family Foundation 


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